“Perfectly Imperfect – this is the phrase you need to remember – no wedding guest accepts your invitation to come and criticise your choice of partner/ venue/music/food; they’re all there to have a nice time with you and for you.” Such amazing advice from Bride Gudrun, definitely warms the soul and makes you remember what’s important.
And with that sentiment in mind, Gudrun & Alex planned their East London knees up at the fabulous Tab Centre in Shoreditch. Decorated with hand picked blooms in vases, cardboard cut outs of their cats and DIY decor and cakes made by themselves. It couldn’t have been more perfect. Accept for Gudrun’s gold sequin Badgley Mischka gown that is, such a fabulous find and so unique, just like this contemporary wedding captured by Babb Photo.
Alex the Groom: I had moved to London a week before Gudrun and we met on the internet, went for a single date in Angel and just fell in love and became best friends very quickly. We got engaged in Las Vegas – I was there alone for work for 5 days – Gudrun flew for 30-odd hours to meet me, and we got engaged the day after my 30th birthday.
Gudrun the Bride: We’re very lucky that Alex’s Sister Camilla is a very talented jeweller so we were secretly engaged for a month, until we could take a trip to see her, choose the stones and design a ring together. I gave Alex my Swiss family crest ring as his ‘engagement’ ring because he was joining my family too. We got engaged in April 2015 and were married in Sept 2016
Gudrun the Bride: We originally booked a lovely registry office in London for our ceremony, but once we started thinking it through we realised we wanted something a bit more personal. Vestry House Museum is a gorgeous little place in Walthamstow (where I grew up and we live) It has lovely gardens and when we found out it was licensed for weddings we changed our plans straight away!
We found the Tab Centre based on our previous ceremony venue so although the journey from Walthamstow to Shoreditch was a bit further than we had originally planned it was worth it. It’s totally dry hire and more importantly for us, it’s a charitable organisation so all money it makes from hire fees go back into its brilliant community projects.
Alex the Groom: I bought a suit from SuitSupply and a new pair of Barkers. I loved looking classic for the day – it made me feel elegant. I did get a bespoke shirt made, which makes a huge difference. Gudrun found me a tie clip and had it engraved with my new initials.
Gudrun the Bride: I tried to buy a ‘proper’ wedding dress, I even went on a shopping trip with my Mum but nothing felt right. I’d always fancied wearing gold sequins (despite my Mum’s reservations) and when I saw the Badgley Mischka dresses online I was pretty convinced. The one I wanted was only available in the US and I wasn’t sure of my size so when I saw an unworn dress on eBay I thought it was worth buying to try for size before I committed to huge import fees. As luck would have it, the dress fit beautifully, and was well under budget. My shoes were massive, and blue and brilliant. I’d be lying if I said they were comfortable all day but adrenaline is a wonderful pain killer!
Decor/Styling – Flowers/florist
Alex the Groom: We wanted an informal wild-flower look, which we both love and we wanted the flowers to be British – just so that they weren’t travelling too much. The Flower Appreciation Society fulfilled the whole brief straight away, and Gudrun fell for them.
We did the flowers for the venue ourselves, going to New Covent Garden one morning to pick up all the flowers, and Gudrun’s family all helped to arrange them into the jars and bottles Gudrun had hoarded so that we could recycle them straight away. This made everything easy to clean up, but also looked beautiful.
Gudrun’s sister basically designed everything stationery-wise. She’s an architect with an amazing creative talent, so she just made something that looked great and we did all the invitations, signs, menus from the design that she did, and it was perfect.
Gudrun the Bride: Luckily the Tab Centre doesn’t need much decor as it’s such a lovely room but I am a bit crafty and also quite…tight…..so we made the rest. I cut out and sewed together 50M of coloured paper dots, my Mum made the table runners with fabric we bought from Walthamstow Market. Alex and I made the cakes, which was really fun and quite a therapeutic break from doing all the other stuff – also who wouldn’t want to be able to claim that they have baked a 6kg lemon cake??
We had to include our beloved cats, Odin and Loki, so I printed off life-sized pictures and had them ‘helping’ with the table plan.
Massive shout-out as well to our caterers The Canababes who are the nicest people, plus their food is absolutely delicious. Food was incredibly important to us and they nailed every bit of it, my only regret is that I didn’t eat enough of it!
Gudrun the Bride: Our ceremony was short and sweet and wonderful. We didn’t want an aisle or for me to be given away – which my Dad was totally in agreement with – so we walked in once everyone was seated and stood in front of them. One traditional ‘Bride’ thing I did do was keep everyone waiting, not because we were late but because I didn’t realise everyone was waiting for me, so was hanging about wondering why we hadn’t started yet!
We had some lovely readings by our great friend Katie and my Mum, both were poems that set a nice tone (John Cooper Clarke’s I Wanna Be Yours and OJ Preston’s Chapter One of One Thousand.)
Initially we wrote our own vows to ‘bulk out’ the ceremony but standing there saying them was actually quite the highlight!
We didn’t have a bridal party and totally forgot that we needed witnesses until 5 minutes before the ceremony, so we had to grab a couple of friends out of the ceremony room for a quick registrar briefing!
Alex the Groom: To be honest, I felt like I didn’t talk to Laura at all during the day – we’d discussed everything and she made everything so easy that I’ve decided she should have some higher role than ‘just’ photographer – I think she was probably crucial in keeping the day together!
However, that’s a testament again to Laura, she was unobtrusive whilst also getting all the photos we wanted and has produced something beautiful – we decided originally to book Laura because her photography is incredible, but she also fitted with our personalities and just made us feel so secure about everything we would do together.
Gudrun the Bride: Laura is amazing, supportive and so talented. She made us look beautiful and we both agreed she was one of the best decisions we made!
Alex the Groom: We thought originally we would have a band, but in fact it would have been too much. Instead Gudrun’s Brother BJ and our mate Kev very kindly Dj’d all night for us. Having some of our favourite people play tracks we all knew and loved was much more personal.
Alex the Groom: There’s the usual advice: slow down and enjoy it, you won’t speak to everyone, don’t worry too much about cake and other small stuff, because it won’t be noticed as much you think it will.
Basically, stop doing what anyone else tells you to do and just book stuff – I realise money is a problem but do the best you can and find things you like,, everyone else will love it, because you’re what they like, you’re the reason they’re there to celebrate.
Gudrun the Bride: If you surround yourself with a gang of suppliers who are lovely and on the same wavelength as you, everything will be easier, because you don’t have to ask for things, they just understand.
“Perfectly Imperfect” – this is the phrase you need to remember – no wedding guest accepts your invitation to come and criticise your choice of partner/ venue/music/food; they’re all there to have a nice time with you and for you.
Photography by Babb Photo
- Dress Designer Pre-Owned Badgley & Mischka
- Bridal Shoes Missl Fire
- Groom Suit Suit Supply
- Grooms Shoes Barker
- Bespoke Shirt Tailor Store
- Rings Camilla Jones Jewellers
- Ceremony Venue Vestry House Museum
- Reception Venue Tab Centre
- Catering Canababes
- Florist The Flower Appreciation Society
- Furniture Hire Anthology Vintage Hire
- Transport London Retro Bus Hire